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  Altar Boyz at No Exit Cafe

Altar Boyz

No Exit Cafe
6970 N. Glenwood Chicago

Altar Boyz is a foot-stomping, rafter-raising, musical comedy about a fictitious Christian boy-band on the last night of their national 'Raise the Praise' tour. The Boyz are five all-singing, all-dancing heartthrobs from Ohio: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham. As they perform their signature hits such as 'Rhythm In Me,' 'The Calling,' and 'I Believe,' the Boyz question their loyalty to each other and ask whether or not faith is really holding them together. They finally deliver a message of unity, that 'there is no star as bright as its constellation, no harmony in a single voice.'

Presented by Theo Ubique

Thru - Jan 14, 2018

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 800-595-4849

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  Altar Boyz Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Many of those jokes are now aging as fast as the members of the aforementioned manufactured performing groups. The group of performers — Frankie Leo Bennett, Max DeTogne, Steven Schaeffer, Colin Schreier and Marco Tzunux — assembled by director Courtney Crouse are all very honest and charming, and they execute challenging (and witty) choreography by Sawyer Smith right in front of your face. But without at least the hum of that the pop megaconcert detritus, the conceit just doesn’t quite work."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...With a high-energy pastiche score by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker (infused with exceptionally clever lyrics) and a book by Kevin Del Aguila (based on an idea by Marc J. Kessler and Ken Davenport), it should come as no surprise that the award-winning “Altar Boyz” racked up more than 2,000 performances during its Off Broadway run from 2005 to 2010. The playful yet pungent parody seems more timely than ever."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...This toothless send-up of boy bands, Christian rock, and Catholicism (music and lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker, book by Kevin Del Aguila, based on an idea by Marc J. Kessler and Ken Davenport) is too gentle to be called satire, too tongue-in-cheek to be taken seriously, too risque to be religious."
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Jack Helbig

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The electronic device on the stage purporting to measure the number of saved souls in the room might have been funnier at the show's premiere in 2005 ( when covert surveillance was the stuff of fantasy ) but, by the end of the evening, when the roll is called up yonder, we are ready to be counted among those who make such joyful noise."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Altar Boyz is at its best when its skewers are aimed at specific targets: When the clearly closeted Mark tells his story “coming out” as a Catholic, for instance. The song targets homophobia as well as many Christians’ unearned sense of persecution. The aim is true, the point is sharp, the moment is a palpable, points-on-the-board hit. But many of the show’s other moments seem to be simply mocking the boys’ earnestness. Really, what it’s mocking is their faith itself."
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Alex Huntsberger

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...The beauty part of Altar Boyz is its infuriating immunity from accusations of hypocrisy. Panning it would be like kicking a puppy: Any secular skepticism founders on the quintet’s unflappable trust in a higher power — the script. Here the Rock of Ages is light metal and Christian pop."
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Lawrence Bommer

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Under the watchful eye of Artistic Director Fred Anzevino, this smaller theater company continues to bring solid talent to the area. Anzevino has nurtured and developed some of his talented performers to become directors and choreographers as well as performers, expanding their potential, and for the latest production “Altar Boyz”, Courtney Crouse has taken on the duties as director with Sawyer Smith handling the choreography. The musical direction is still under the very able hands of Jeremy Ramey- he is sensational!"
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This entertaining evening, while not exactly a holiday show, provides enough seasonal inspiration, spirituality and simple good heart to make it a perfect alternative for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa entertainment. It’s also a very funny musical, with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor, guaranteed to put a smile on every theatergoer’s face. Be sure to put this one on your holiday must-have list. It’s a gift guaranteed to please everyone."
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Colin Douglas

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...The “boys” themselves are well-cast, funny and distinctive while also working swimmingly as a group. DeTogne, a star of the Chicago musical theater scene, is a perfect front man, magnetic and adorably nonthreatening. Bennett’s Mark is a beautiful dancer with spot-on comic timing and a stellar solo toward the show’s end. Recently seen in Theo Ubique’s A New Brain, Schreier is perfect as slightly dim Luke, who has a propensity for “exhaustion” and takes pride in his mad van-driving skills. Tzunux gives Juan a lovely vulnerability and interacts well with the audience, and Schaeffer’s Abraham is so lovable it’s difficult not to go onstage and hug him. Altar Boyz may just be the most fun I’ve ever had at the No Exit Café, and the combination of cuteness, pop and passion is positively winning."

Lsuren Whalen

Irish American News - Highly Recommended

"...Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker; Book by Kevin Del Aguila, this show combines the cringe worthy elements of ‘boy bands’ with the worst of religious piety. For those of us who remember those attempts to make Catholicism more ‘rock and roll’ Altar Boyz is a must see. Catholic or not, this musical satire, is so cleverly scripted that you will laugh despite yourself."
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Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Highly Recommended

"...Thanks to superb direction by Courtney Crouse, Theo’s production expertly walks the line allowing achievement of all the piece’s comic elements while preserving a certain dignity and respect for people of faith. The deserved jabs at religious extremism, old-fashioned Catholic thinking and scandal (Father’s “surprise retirement party”) are, thankfully, not overplayed. The audience is so much better for it. And the songbook is clever, witty and sometimes surprising but never outwardly mocking."
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Barry Reszel

The Hawk Chicago - Recommended

"...Altar Boyz isn't perfect. There are sound issues (the boys aren't wearing microphones) and their solo numbers don't always land as well as they do as a group. However, with such honest portrayals and energetic talent on stage, these Boyz could make a believer out of anyone."
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Cory Davis

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...“We don’t believe in hurtin’ or in hatin’ / ‘Cause that’s the kind of stuff that leads to Satan,” the group sings in its first song, “We Are the Altar Boyz,” telling us, “we’re gonna alter your mind.” Well, my mind was altered. I’m now solidly a fan of five guys named Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan, and Abraham, and even more a fan of Theo Ubique. Altar Boyz takes its place among their finest work; it’s heavenly entertainment for everyone."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...Just like a regular pop concert, the audience cheers and becomes involved as much as possible. This is not your typical “sit back and relax” kind of musical. The small cabaret venue always keeps the audience inside the action of the show. This is no different. The audience is essentially a character in this show."
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Stephanie Dykes

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